A former union organizer argued Tuesday that questionable tactics are being used to unionize Wal-Mart employees.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) and its subsidiary OUR Walmart claim to be promoting better working conditions for employees by organizing rallies at 1,600 Wal-Mart stores on Black Friday.
The groups are forbidden from attempting to unionize Wal-Mart employees according to a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling but Rian Wathen, a UFCW member, says his union and OUR Wal-Mart are secretly doing just that.
Wathen has been a member of the UFCW for 15 years and once served as an organizing director and local executive officer for the union.
“The UFCW has not been able to unionize workers at any store,” Wathen told reporters during a teleconference hosted by Worker Center Watch. “Wal-Mart workers have rejected them.”
Wathen argued that by using OUR Walmart as a front group to bypass labor regulations, they are not just violating NLRB rules, they are also essentially admitting defeat.
“Their front groups are nothing more than efforts to unionize Walmart employees,” Wathen said of OUR Walmart. “They are deceiving the public that Wal-Mart employees want to sign up when they don’t.”
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, told reporters that many participants aren’t even Wal-Mart employees.
“Many of these people have been solicited by the AFL-CIO and the UFCW,” she said.
As a result of a labor dispute between Wal-Mart and the UFCW last year, the NLRB dropped an unfair labor practice charge against the union so long as they don’t attempt to unionize the retail giant’s workers and put a disclaimer on the bottom of the OUR Walmart website. (RELATED: Watchdogs Worry Black Friday Campaign Is Really About Unionizing Wal-Mart)
TheDCNF could not reach OUR Walmart or the UFCW for further comment.
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